Favorite Female Characters in Literature # 13: Sue Storm. Oh hell... make that Sue "Hell yeah Mother-fucking" Storm. The woman has gone through enough hell and proved herself the strongest willed member of the FF, so she deserves the respect.
Here they are, the Fantastic Four. Five years ago, Sue Storm would not have made this list of mine. She was a secondary character. Suited for no more than background moments. Then I was offered a chance to write Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four, and had to really think about writing her character, and I asked Jeff Parker (a good friend, and a BRILLIANT writer) for advice and he said, "Well, of course you know she's the clear leader of the group." And that was silly. BUT... it was only silly for about thirty seconds, and then it was OBVIOUS. Sue is the one who holds them together. Sue is the one who has the perspective, the ENTIRE perspective, that the others lack. Sue has the brains, the powers, the will to surivive, and the determination to do what needs to be done. She is Sue Storm, and she's pretty, and she's nice, and she will cut you.
I think that I'd always, in the past, been envisioning THIS Sue Storm. It's the Sue Storm that I grew up with, reading stacks of old comics... the Sue Storm that served cookies after the men saved the world, and the Storm that was more concerned with Johnny leaving his dirty socks all over the house than she was with how Doctor Doom had just wiped out a platoon of NATO soldiers. The Sue, in other words, that Reed was either protecting or brusquely ordering to do some safe and feminine task.
In not long, though, my entire idea of the character had changed. Again, this was largely due to that simple sentence that Jeff Parker had told me. SUE IS THE ONE IN CHARGE. Of course she is. So, whenever I write Sue, THIS is the image that I drop into the scripts, with a note of, "THIS is the Sue that we're talking about." Sue Storm of the front lines. The bad ass. Also... I began to think of how incredibly potent her powers were for OFFENSE, not just defense. That changed her, too.
THIS version of Sue Storm no longer exists in my head.
THIS is who she is to me now. This is a piece of art from when, in the Marvel Adventures universe, she was in charge of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, both. Because that's how she rolls. Her years of taking care of Reed, Ben and Johnny have transformed her into a woman who just plain TAKES CARE OF THAT SHIT, whatever that shit may be.
This is from another time that I worked with the character of Sue Storm. Maybe my favorite time, in many ways, because I was able to have fun with the character and, as many of you know, I like Colleen Coover's art so much that I went ahead and married her.
Sue's first appearance, and the launch of the Marvel Age of comics. I have a copy of this comic and the first time I sat down to read it I was chomping on a sandwich and thinking, "Yeah, here's the part where the cosmic rays are hitting them, and now they're transforming, etc, etc." I've read the story a million times, but then it suddenly hit me that I was holding THE comic that it happened in, not a reprint or anything like that. It gave the story MUCH more gravity. I would high recommend each and every one of you to go out, RIGHT NOW, and buy an original copy. I'll wait. (whistling noises)
Reed was often tugging Sue along in those early days. Like she couldn't walk by herself, or didn't know how to run. And Reed was always a bit TOO protective. I always wanted Sue to say, "For fuck's sake, Reed! I can turn INVISIBLE and make a DAMN FORCE FIELD. I will be OKAY!"
Jesus CHRIST, Ben. Just... holy shit.
I just love this piece of art, so I'm throwing it in here. I think it's a nice visual that shows Ben's strength and Sue's allure. Hard to tell, here, that she could kick his ass if she wanted.
Wow. Sue is sporting some extremely NOT invisible booty in this statue. I think there should be one of Ben Grimm like this, too.
A couple more nice images of our favorite invisible gal, this time by Bruce Timm and Darwyn Cooke, two of the best in the business at drawing beautiful women who still seem human.
Well done, Cosplay Girl.
I like the "middle" versions of Sue and Reed the best. The versions where Sue had become a complete character with her own life and desires and demands, and Reed has become HUMAN... a caring man, rather than a brusque genius who cannot fathom human emotions. Any writer that can't give Reed humanity is a writer that's not doing his or her job. Sue and Reed are at their best when they're two people with powers who happen to be two people in love.
Sigh. Why do women so often fall for the hurt and bitter man? As far as Sue's attraction to the Sub-Mariner, I'm not fond of it. I LOVE his attraction to her, but not her spotty attraction to him. Sue loves Reed in my mind, and anything else just muddies up the rather focused person who she is. There is NO way that I could ever get behind the Sub-Mariner and Sue getting together, kissing. NO WAY. Never. Not going to happen.
Okay. I take that back.
THE “FAVORITE” LIST SO FAR…
#25: Scarlet Witch
#24: Chance Falconer
#21: Jean Grey
#20: Kitty Pryde
#19: Janet van Dyne
#18: Mary Jane Watson
#17: Hermione Granger
#15: Modesty Blaise
#14: Black Widow
#13: Sue Storm
——- DOWN BELOW IS JUST A REHASH OF WHY I’M DOING THIS LIST ———
I’ve been thinking about women, lately. Women characters in comics. Women creators in comics. Female characters in literature. And pretty girls riding around on bicycles or walking along the sidewalk, etc, etc. Because of this, I’ve decided to make An Entirely Useless List. Why is it entirely useless? Because it’s my top 25 female characters from comics and literature, and such lists change at whim and at a breakneck pace. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to quantify favorites… the term favorite is far too malleable. A list of my best friends from high school, for instance, would not include anyone with whom I’m currently in contact. Times change. Still… I’m making the list. Why? I suppose I just like thinking about women.